Our Courses


Painting in the sunshine

Everyone is welcome whether you are a complete beginner or someone with much experience. I firmly believe that everyone has the ability to draw or paint given the right tuition and encouragement in a positive environment.

There is an absolute maximum of 7 places per week so it is possible to give you all the time and attention you need.

The studio is well equipped and spacious although we usually work out of doors in one of the many areas of the garden or out in the surrounding landscape.

There are also things like air-drying clay, plaster and other sculpting materials to play with!.

woman drawing in the garden

Tutored painting sessions are from about 9.00am - 12 noon and 2 - 5pm. But everything is flexible here. The studio is open all day, and Pheona is always around to help you. 

Rather than have set courses each week your painting holiday will be organised to suit whoever is in the small group and you choose exactly what you want to learn or do.

When you arrive we have a chat (and perhaps you have brought some photos of your work with you) and then Pheona will suggest an individual but flexible 'course plan' for you.

Of course, you can also just 'take each day as it comes' just enjoying being creative.

You learn and create best when relaxed and enjoying yourself so you'll find that the beautiful environment, the personal attention and the company of like minded people all contribute to you being able to be at your most creative.

'Giggling' is thoroughly recommended for good art!

All art materials are provided free of charge.  You can browse through the following 'Ideas for Artists' to see that there is a wide range of subjects and methods.


A typical day might be.....
You have breakfast in your own apartment, whenever you like, from a selection of breakfast foods in your kitchen area.  For those on the first and second floors it is lovely to have breakfast on the balconies watching the sun rise over the mountain.   On the ground floor you have a number of areas you can choose to have your breakfast.
We meet in the studio 9am and  usually work in one of the outdoor painting areas 9 -12
Lunch is at 12.30
You continue your tutored art work 2 - 5pm
Then dinner is at 7pm

This is a basic outline, but it is nice to go on excursions and allow the week to develope organically according to the wishes of the group.  You can also continue painting outwith the set times.
watercolour mixing



Watercolour, of the Bismantova

Water-colour is a unique, sensitive and beautiful painting medium and not as difficult as it seems with the right tuition You will be shown how to build up a water-colour painting step-by-step with demonstrations and personal guidance.


'Girl in White', oils

The approach to acrylic and oil painting can be seen as similar, given that both are opaque painting mediums which are built up with a thick rich paint consistency. The basic difference for the beginner is that acrylics are water based and dry within 5 minutes which means you can build up layer upon layer without waiting for a long drying time. Oil paints take days rather than minutes to dry. The advantage is that you have more time with oils to blend and make subtle alterations to your work. You can learn either, or both techniques here.....easy peasy! 


Watercolour landscape of Villa Minozzo

We are surrounded here by beautiful scenery and you need go no further than your balcony to find a scene to paint! You can visit  local areas of scenic beauty to sketch, paint or take photos for working on later.


Watercolour portrait of young man

Portraiture is one of Pheona's specialisms and you can learn how to create a likeness, perhaps starting with a drawing and moving on to painting in either water-colours, oils or acrylics. We will try to work from life models which is far superior to working from photos.


Pastel life drawing

Figure drawing has always been a challenge for the artist any inaccuracy with the human figure is immediately seen. In this respect it is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding of artistic skills.

A variety of poses can be covered throughout the week. This year we have no set life drawing course but if there is demand we can organise one. If you are interested in life drawing/painting you can use an ordinary painting week to develope your skills in this area. For example, learn about anatomy, proportions and balance using classical sculpures. Learn how to draw and paint, hands, feet and portraits. And then we can work on some figure drawaing or painting using a local model.  Please ask beforehand whether this is an option for the time you choose.


Girl sketching

You may like a holiday combining walking and painting. There are many beautiful walks full of inspiration for any artist, all year round. We walk and talk, make sketches and take photos. The walks are chosen according to the abilities and choice of the guest.  Please ask when booking if this is an option for the times you choose.


Watercolour, dandelion seed heads

Perhaps you are an experienced artist who wants to develop your work but don-t know which direction to take. You could spend your holiday learning different painting techniques. From using the palette knife, trying pointillism, different underpaintings, using texture, collage, or mixed media. 


Horses, oils

Whether you work in oils, acrylics or water-colours, learning how to use the colour wheel can really help you understand colour, mixing colours more easily and use different colour strategies to improve your painting skills.


Pheona painting a mural, Salvador Dali

Sometimes it is good to take time to explore the techniques of other artists you admire. It is possible to try out a variety of styles in one week.....perhaps... Impressionism, pointillism, surrealism and abstract painting. For example you could take the same subject and paint it in different styles thus exploring new ways of thinking. It also makes a great topic for discussion and understanding.


Landscape, pallette knife

For those of you who are not quite beginners but would like to improve and experiment with some different techniques, you could spend your holiday 'playing'. Learn to use the pallette knife, or apply abstraction to your work, or try different underpaintings. You could try different scales or explore colour relationships, texture, mediums, mixed media, printing..... the list is endless...

You can spend a week exploring different types of abstract art. By actually trying the different styles yourself you will come to appreciate the skills involved. In a week you can make about 7 different types of abstract painting, from self expression to geometry, learning about the meaning of line and colour, relationships of shape and form. Fascinating. This is a popular idea in which students are delighted with their work. Not only that, they have gained an insight and appreciation of the work of many other artists. 


Old building, watercolour

A sound knowledge of perspective is essential if you wish to draw or paint buildings, streets, furniture or other geometric objects. You will learn the basic rules of perspective with Pheona's easy-to-understand tuition, reinforced with demonstrations and illustrations. In a short time you will be able to apply the principles to scenery about you thus allowing you to improve your art work and take the difficulty out of those subjects.


Horse and foal, oils

If you love animals take a week to explore how to draw and paint them well. We start by looking at structure and anatomy - it sounds serious, but it is fun and essential!  Then we move on to drawing animals from photos and models and after that we can visit nearby animals to work from life and develope sketchbook technique. 


Portrait of motorcyclist.  oils

Good composition is essential to making good paintings and not everyone has a natural grasp of this. You can learn quickly and easily how to make your paintings more dynamic by clever use of composition. This is usually a fun week and students are amazed by the improvement in their paintings by learning just a few basic rules.


Young girls in kilts.

Most artists would probably admit that they never stop learning and for those who wish to move out of their comfort zone and try some advanced techniques which will give you stimulating advanced ideas to help improve your work.


Man working on clay sculpture

There is usually also a supply of clay, plaster, wood and sculpture materials and a well stocked tool shed. As Pheona makes all sorts of things out of found objects you will find plenty of opportunity to be creative in this manner too.....

If anyone wants to try sculpture I am more than happy to encourage you.            


Man painting in a field

Learn how to use your camera to make better photos, how to upload images on the computer and use simple software techniques to improve your photographs. Learn to use your sketchbook more effectively. Then learn how to use both the photographs and the sketchbook together in order to make a better finished painting.


With all the best intentions in the world you will leave our week long holidays enthused, enriched, enabled and full of confidence and new knowledge about how to continue with your chosen art form. However, sometimes it is difficult to maintain that enthusiasm when you are back home. Pheona has made several 'Home Study' courses to help you continue with the art work you started here. You can work your way through the 20 projects in your own time. The projects are set out so that you undertake a different or more challenging painting each time, thus continuing to improve and learn at home. They are full of hints and tips about how to go about each project. These courses are ideal for the student who wishes to build up a portfolio. All you need is a computer and a connection to 'Skype'.

We will give you more information when you are here in Italy.

just email :  

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service used on our website that tracks, reports traffic and measures how users interact with our website content in order for us to improve it and provide better services.


Our website allows you to like or share its content on Facebook social network. By activating and using it you agree to Facebook's privacy policy: https://www.facebook.com/policy/cookies/


Integrated tweets and share services of Twitter are used on our website. By accepting and using these you agree to Twitter's privacy policy: https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-cookies